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Common Baby Rashes: How to Identify and Care for Them

by Taste For LifeZi JIn Tang 紫金堂澳洲 on Dec 08, 2021

新手爸媽注意! 寶寶常見的疹子辨別與照護

Baby Skin Care: Tips for Your Newborn

Babies might easily have rashes, and while these rashes can be alarming to new parents, many of them are harmless and will go away on their own. In this blog, we'll cover some common baby rashes, how to recognize them, and how to care for them.

1. Diaper rash

What is it:

Diaper rash is a common rash that appears as red, inflamed patches or bumps on a baby's buttocks and genital area, usually due to prolonged exposure to stool and urine, harsh soaps, moisture, and tight diapers.

How to treat?

Change your baby's diaper frequently, use a gentle cleanser to clean the area, and apply diaper cream or ointment to create a barrier between the skin and the diaper.

When to see a doctor:

If the rash doesn’t get better within a few days, spreads further, or if your baby has a fever, it’s time to see a doctor.

2. Erythema toxicum

What is it?

It is a harmless skin condition that many newborns experience in their first few days and weeks of life. It appears as yellow bumps surrounded by red skin on the face, trunk, upper arms, and thighs.

How to treat?

Usually, there is no need for treatment, as the rash will go away on its own within a few weeks.

When to see a doctor:

If your baby shows signs of erythema toxicum, it's best to consult with a pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis and receive reassurance.

3. Milia (blocked oil glands)

What is it?

Milia is a common condition that happens when small, white bumps form on a baby's skin due to blocked oil glands. These spots are neither infectious nor itchy.

How to treat?

Treatment for milia is usually not necessary as the bumps usually go away on their own within a few weeks. To prevent scarring, it is recommended not to squeeze or pick at the bumps.

When to see a doctor?

If you're unsure whether your baby's bumps are milia or another condition, or if the milia become red or inflamed, it's best to consult with a pediatrician to rule out any other potential issues and get proper treatment.

4.Baby acne

What is it?

About 20% of newborns have a type of acne called neonatal acne. you’ll usually see breakouts on your baby’s cheeks and nose characterized by small red bumps or pimples. Acne can also appear on a baby’s forehead, chin, scalp, neck, back, or chest.

How to treat?

Neonatal acne is generally nothing to worry about and often clears on its own without treatment in a few weeks to months. However, there are treatment options available:

  • 1.Parents can wash their baby's face with mild soap and water to help reduce irritation.
  • 2.Do not squeeze or scratch the acne, as it can cause infection and scarring. Gloves may be worn when necessary.
  • 3.Avoid applying baby oil or steroid creams, which may worsen the acne.

When to see a doctor?

If the acne persists and the baby shows signs of early puberty or masculinization, it's necessary to see a pediatric endocrinologist.

5. Prickly heat (heat rash)

What is it?

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, can occur when your baby gets hot in a humid environment. The rash shows tiny red bumps or blisters on the skin, which can be very itchy, and usually appears on the back or in skin folds.

How to treat?

It can be treated by keeping the baby cool and avoiding humidity, which usually clears within 2 to 3 days without treatment.

When to see a doctor?

If the rash becomes itchy or develops blisters, medication may be necessary.

6. Atopic dermatitis

What is it?

Atopic dermatitis is a common skin problem in babies aged 0 to 2 years old, caused by a genetic deficiency, resulting in skin allergies and inflammation as a rash on the face and limbs.

How to treat?

Focus on moisturizing and maintaining a stable skin condition.

  • 1.Clean with warm water and a mild acidic product. Wipe away sweat promptly.
  • 2.Moisturize with natural, simple ingredients while the skin is still moist.
  • 3.Use steroid creams as prescribed to relieve itching and rashes.
  • 4.Wear loose, breathable, absorbent cotton clothing.

When to see a doctor?

Call a pediatrician if the rash is severe, spreads rapidly, becomes infected, or if the baby develops a fever or has trouble sleeping due to discomfort.

7. Roseola (sixth disease)

What is it?

It is a viral infection that commonly affects babies between 6 months to 2 years old. It causes a high fever, often higher than 103 F (39.4 C) for 3 to 5 days, followed by a rash that doesn't itch or hurt. These spots tend to be flat.

How to treat?

Roseola typically resolves on its own within a week, and treatment involves using cool clothing and fever-reducing medications.

When to see a doctor?

Seek urgent medical care if your child has a fever-related seizure. Contact your child's healthcare provider if they have a fever over 103 F (39.4 C) or if the rash persists for three days and the fever returns.

*During a febrile seizure, stay calm, check the temperature, take fever treatment, keep the airway open, and do not restrain the arms and legs or put things in the baby's mouth.

How to care for your baby's skin:

  • 1.Proper cleansing: Use gentle cleansers like baby soap or bath wash. If the baby's skin is sensitive, just use water to clean it.
  • 2.Adequate moisturizing: Moisturize based on the baby's skin type, environment, and season, and prevent water loss to maintain the skin's protective function.
  • 3.Proper temperature and humidity: Avoid dressing the baby too warmly or in non-breathable clothes. Use warm water for bathing.

*Avoid using home remedies and seek medical help when needed.

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